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University of Missouri Health Care News Releases
MU Health Care Responds To May 22 Joplin Tornado

St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Joplin, as well as the community of Joplin, was damaged by a severe tornado yesterday evening. University of Missouri Health Care sent two ambulances with medical crews to Joplin last night, May 22, and had two helicopters on alert standby in the event they were needed.

“We are in regular communication with state and local emergency management agencies, as well the Missouri Hospital Association, and have offered other resources, including two trailers stocked with medical supplies, to aid the disaster-response effort,” said Roger Higginbotham, interim director of support services. “We stand ready to help offer additional assistance as needed.”

“To ensure a coordinated response, if any individual staff members are interested in volunteering, please work through your manager,” he said.

Missouri Rehabilitation, Center, located about 30 miles east of Joplin, was not damaged by the tornado, but leadership is gathering information about employees living in the area who may have been affected and will update staff about how we can support our colleagues at MRC.

Sunday evening, Gov. Jay Nixon activated the Missouri National Guard to respond to the area. The Missouri State Highway Patrol has also sent additional troopers to the Joplin area. The State Emergency Management Agency is helping to coordinate the deployment of search and rescue teams, a disaster medical assistance team, communications vehicles, mobile command vehicles, heavy equipment and an incident support team. The incident support team will provide support to the emergency operation center.

Missouri Task Force 1, a division of the Boone County Fire Protection District that specializes in search and rescue operation in building collapses, is one of the resources responding to Joplin. The task force uses state of the art search equipment, including visual and acoustical devices, medical equipment and K-9 search teams.

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